Podcast Special – Witch Bottles


This is the first of (hopefully) many mini-episode specials in which we’ll explore particular practical topics in American Witchcraft.  Today, we’re looking at the history, lore, and making of Witch Bottles.  Plus we’ll share our own experiences with them.


Download:  New World Witchery – Podcast Special – Witch Bottles

*The Wikipedia entry on “witch bottles.”
*Apotropaios – An excellent site with scholarly history of many occult objects, including Witch Bottles.
*The Lucky Mojo page on “Bottle Spells” has lots of great information on the various kinds of magical bottle workings done around the world.
*The Appalachian History blog has an excellent entry on “Bottle Trees.”
*The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, has a good article on “witch bottles.”
*The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, by Judika Illes, is another tome with lots of magical information, including some on Witch Bottles.

“Grifos Muertos” by Jeffery Luck Lucas, from his album What We Whisper, on Magnatune.com

14 thoughts on “Podcast Special – Witch Bottles”

  1. I *so* enjoyed this special episode of New World Witchery, and it has made me, impossibly, love your podcast even more. I actually first learned about witch bottles early this year, while reading the novel “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” by Katherine Howe, in which witch bottles feature prominently. While the plot was, IMHO, only so-so, the book certainly piqued my interest in this form of witchcraft that made its way across the Atlantic. Thank you for enlightening me!

    I’m still catching up on all these phenomenal blog posts, but I am so grateful to you for compiling all of this information. I was waiting for you to come along! Cheers!

    1. Thanks so much! We were really happy about the witch bottle episode, so we’re glad that it’s finding an audience. I’ve not heard of that book series but I’ll have to see if I can find out more on it now 🙂

      And thank you very much for reading! I love knowing that folks are getting something out of these posts!

      All the best,


  2. Good episode.

    I would like to add a devious suggestion to the repertoire.

    Take a mason jar, and fill it with the most rotten of swampy war waters, with things to aid the rot along of course….into this jar place a properly made doll baby (or other effigy), broken rusty razors, pins, needles, nails and thorns, and seal them into a pit of despair, being submerged in a horrible existence and soaked through with some of the most “stanky” bane ever bottled.

    1. That sounds like a helluva war water you’re starting there. It’s definitely not friendship bread, that’s for sure 😉 I think Sarah (of Forest Grove) does something similar for her war water bombs.

      1. I have to make two war waters…one for protection…to put on you if you have to…and one for blight and bane…i wouldn’t want it near me long…let alone on me. I cringe bottling it. It’s no bueno.

  3. Hey, Cory,

    Thank you for your lovely comments. Tyson’s agreed to the interview & reading of the Law so I’m happy to say that’s a go!

    I also wanted to let you know that Holly and I ended up in a great discussion on this episode. I love witch bottles, I think the first time I encountered them was in scott cunningham (which seems a rather non-cunningham thing to do for some reason), and the idea of it, the feel of the mention of the magic of it, was palpable.

    But our discussion centered more on ethics, yes we skipped straight over the doing to some background on it. Especially on the honey & vinegar bottles which I’d never heard of before so that was fantastic to learn about. But it’s interesting to me, the different ethics in certain ways between traditional witchcraft (Leland, Huson for two author examples) and Wicca with it’s Rede. And how these ethics would inform the methodology perhaps of doing the honey & vinegar bottles or even the choice of whether or not to do it at all.

    So thank you for the great show but also the wonderful conversation it sparked!


    1. That’s wonderfully exciting, Saturn! I’ll be looking forward to that/those episodes!

      I’m glad this episode got y’all talking, too. I know that there are definitely ethical quandaries that get raised in some of these systems, but the magic is sooooooo interesting to me! I love honey jars, especially. Mostly b/c I get to eat the honey, lol.

      Be well!


  4. Wonderful podcast and very informative. I have done witch bottle before but the european style. It has made me research deeper into the subject. Interesting about the Honey and Vinegar bottles, I really want to try the honey bottle. 😉

    Thank you for a lovely podcast.


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